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Hunting vs. Cruelty to Animals - A Huge Legal Difference

Last month two sitting ducks were apparently intentionally killed with a golf cart at a Fayette County golf course. Shortly after the incident, pictures of a young man holding the dead ducks and smiling broadly were posted on Facebook.


As one could imagine, social media had various reactions. Several comments were justified, others vindictive and not helpful. One comment seemed to get the most attention. It read, "the hunter needs to kill, since hunting season is over." Many people were outraged and, they immediately started defending the sport. Several news articles have pointed out that the ducks killed were pets. Hunters don't kill pets! Surprisingly, the deer hunters in PA talk about their love, and respect for animals. When it comes to hunting, generally people in this area are in favor of legitimate hunting-- as well as people are absolutely opposed to the killing of animals for no good reason which can, at times, be a crime. Hunters defend their practice by stating, that they are properly preserving the forest and nature. They contend that deer meat is processed properly, and not sent to the over populated slaughterhouses in the area. Therefore that action does not adversely affect climate change. Hunters also argue that they are controlling the deer population, and preventing animals from death by starvation, and further --protecting the highways by reducing the several car accidents between the deers and vehicles. Hunters believe that they are keeping an American tradition alive. Animal activists believe that hunting is evil, uncivilized, and should be outlawed. Whether you are an animal activist or a hunter, you can agree on one thing--killing two sitting ducks with a golf cart is, if true, an act of animal cruelty. That brings us to the legal question. In American law, is there a difference between killing an animal by hunting, and killing an animal out of cruelty? Of course there is. The purpose of this blog post is not to profess any moral position, but rather to instruct on the law. In animal protection, the word cruelty is the title of that section--so it is obvious to all, and it does not take a rocket scientist to realize that violating animal cruelty laws, means that you are being cruel to animals. Legal Hunting History Pennsylvania, originally titled Pens Woods is known throughout the Country for its beautiful forests and mountains. Here in the Southwestern portion of Pennsylvania several people legally hunt and consider it a "great sport." In Pennsylvania hunters spend hours hiking and admiring the woods. Hunting is known to be a "sport" that takes much focus and dedication. Usually hunting is generational. Therefore hunters are trained at a young age by older members is their family. Hunters are drilled to know their target. Their target is to for an intent to kill the animal immediately. If there is a slight chance the deer will suffer for a period of time, they draw their weapons. Pennsylvania State Rules and Regulations The Pennsylvania Game Commission schedules various seasons and duck hunting season commences normally in late September, or early October. Killing animals out of its season is initially a violation of the law, and a properly licensed hunter would immediately lose their license, and face criminal charges. A Hunter's Testimonial Sam Abram is a experienced hunter with over 40 years in the woods and "an animal lover." Mr. Abrams was outraged when he heard about the duck incident, and even more so when the defense may be hunting. "There is a difference between a meat hunter and someone who kills to kill," he also states "a true hunter holds back, if they know that the animal will feel pain, they will never shoot. In the woods with my sons and grandsons watching a beautiful deer walk by with her doe is the real excitement of hunting. A true hunter always draws when they see families and small deer. I am not a religious man, and I would never flaunt religion onto others, but I believe in God, and after the shootings, the hunting tradition is to thank the animal, and God for providing us with the food. We are teaching our sons laws, and how to protect themselves and feed their families if, God forbid, something were to happen.' If you know someone who is hunting in a territory that is off limits, or is hunting during off-season, notify the police or an attorney immediately. We hope this answered any legal questions you had regarding this matter. Our next post will face solely on Animal cruelty.

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Davis & Davis Attorneys at Law

Davis & Davis Attorneys At Law